The Auspicious week between Rosh Hashana and Yom Hakippurim!
It’s been quite an intense week in Kitah Gimmel!
Taking advantage of this auspicious time of the year, the students added quite a few Prayers to their usual Tefillah repertoire, added Tzedakah and discussed at great length that Tzedakah is more than sharing money. We brainstormed for “sharing Mitzvot”, here are some examples we came up:
- Treating siblings nicely even when we’re “not in the mood”
- calling a friend when they’re sick in bed
- sharing food by donating “stuff” to the Mitzvah Wagon
- visiting the elderly, i.e. the residents at Waltonwood Cotswold
- showing respect to our parents
We also experienced the Tashlich Prayer; we went down to the pond, read the Tefillah together and asked Hashem that as we “throw away” our bad behaviors, He’ll allow them to sink to the bottom of the waters so that we can start the New Year with a clean slate.
In connection to the Tashlich Prayer we also discussed that it’s not enough to just do Tashlich to get a clean slate.
To help the students understand this better they were given dirty pennies and expected to get them to look shiny like when they were first minted. Without any tools they couldn’t do it! I then provided them with the necessary tools (ketchup, vinegar and salt and a toothbrush) and voila there was a tremendous improvement!
We also wrote some negative behaviors with markers on a white cloth, we then placed the cloth in a bowl with water and bleach. Once again we saw the cloths became pure white, our negative behaviors were erased completely, after we placed them in the bleached water.
We compared this to the Gift of Yom Hakippurim (Day of Atonement). Hashem provides us every year with the necessary “tools” to help us earn our clean slate. Eating the special meal before Yom Kippur, wearing non leather shoes, fasting (for adults only) and praying the special Yom Kippur prayers are some of the “tools” we use to help us get started.
Once again, I’ve sent home some holiday activities for the students to complete in preparation for and during Yom Kippur.
Chatimah Tova, may we be inscribed and sealed for an awesome year!
Have an easy fast!
Writing our negative behaviors:
Shining our pennies: